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Enewsletter July 26,, 2010

by Harry Salzman

July 26, 2010






Locally, initial claims for unemployment are down 28.6%. The unemployment rate is down to 9.1%. New auto and truck sales are up 7.2%. Taxable retail sales are up 7.2%. The hotel occupancy rate is up 77.7% and foreclosure filings are down 7.9%.


Because local Realtors report that telephone requests for information about listings have dried up and appointments for showings by other Realtors have almost disappeared.


Because local Lenders are reporting a big reduction in calls from "Rate Shoppers". Calls from individuals who need mortgage money have dried up and the only calls that are coming in are from people who want to refinance.


Because the chief Economist for NAR is predicting an increase in interest rates as a result of the recent overhaul of the financial industry. The $18-$29 billion predicted annual administrative cost of that legislation will increase lenders' costs and will be passed along to consumers. (You remember consumers, don't you?. They are the ones that the law was passed to protect).

The positive side of all of this s that Homeowners are taking their money out of the stock market and using it to remodel their homes or buy investment property.  That's why the story that appears, below, should interest you.



Although Colorado Springs has a lot going for it and is better off than most other parts of the country, the local real estate market outlook does, necessarily, reflect the national Real Estate market outlook....and that's not a very happy picture. The Wall Street Journal summed up the problems facing the national market in two recent articles, "housing market Stumbles" (July 21, 2010) and "Home Inventory Rises as Sales Fall" (July 24, 2010).

Some of the various reasons for the current grim National outlook are:

  • Tremendous decrease in housing starts (Locally, single-family home permits are down 12.3%. Builders are uneasy about the future.)
  • Weak job growth (Locally, wage and salary jobs are down 1.7%)
  • Elimination of the federal tax credit for home buyers, which resulted in:
  • A decrease in real estate sales (Buyers chose to close before June 30, 2010, in order to take advantage of the federal tax credit.

One result of these negative pressures is an increase in the inventories of new and resale home inventories.

To what extent does our local market reflect this growth in inventories? Well, in Colorado Springs, the month of June showed an increase of 6.6% in listings over May, 2010 and an increase of 15.4% over June, 2009. These increases translate into a growth of inventory of available homes to a level that cannot be absorbed within a reasonable time frame.

What accounts for this sudden growth in inventory? Well, keep in mind that, basically, there are three types of Sellers with homes for sale. First, there are those individuals who have to move out of their homes. They have changed employment or lost their jobs .They are worried about foreclosure..A personal crisis requires them to move closer to some member of their family, etc., etc... The bad economy has contributed to an unusual increase in this type of listing.

Then, there are those Sellers who don't have to move, but would like to cash in on the value of their homes and move up into bigger, better homes. These individuals, misled by the recent, artificial upsurge in sales created by the deadline for the federal tax credit, have concluded that the time is now ripe for them to place their homes back on the market. Because they don't really have to sell, they are not very aggressive in their pricing and are not that interested in negotiating.

(This type of Seller puts the Realtor in an awkward position. Because the Seller's asking price does not reflect realistic market pricing, the house does not attract prospective Buyers. Furthermore, Lenders' appraisals will come in far below the asking price, thus killing the sale. In such instances, everyone is unhappy. The Buyer doesn't see any activity. The prospective Buyer and his Realtor waste a lot of time and the entire deal falls through. For these reasons, responsible Realtors tend to refuse this type of listing).

 Finally, there are the foreclosures and short-sales that Lenders are now listing. Unfortunately, these listings are slow to sell, primarily because of unrealistic pricing by the lenders and slow response time to offers (Almost every Realtor has horror stories about losing sales because a lender would not respond to their offer in a timely manner).

Right now, all three types of Sellers have placed homes on the market and our inventories have grown accordingly.

The bottom line for Sellers is: If you really want to sell, work with your Realtor to establish a realistic listing price and be ready to negotiate.

The bottom line for Buyers is:  Low mortgage interest rates and an oversupply of homes for sale make this a great time to buy your new home.

The bottom line for investors is: CALL ME. The following story shows how our present market offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for investors.     



Here's a true story that should make prospective Investors sit up and take notice.

On July 23, 2010, we negotiated a sale for a Buyer, on a home that sold for $313,500. (A comparable home in a similar neighborhood sold for $346,000 on July 2, 2010). Our Buyer paid 25% down and we obtained a 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage @ 4.75%. We required the Seller to pay all Buyer's closing costs, including prepaids.

The PITI monthly payment will be $1530 and the home will rent for between $1800-$1850.

Based upon just these factors, here's how our Investor will realize a minimum 9.4% annual rate of return on his investment:

  • Loan amount = $235.125
  • Buyer will receive income tax deductions of $11,090 for interest paid and $2,737 for property taxes paid
  • At a tax bracket of 28%, the income tax savings to the Investor will be $3,872/year, or, $323/month.
  • That makes the monthly cost approximately $1,200 ($1,530 - $323)
  • Minimum rental income should be $1800

Bottom line: The Investor will put about $600 per month into his pocket. That's $7,200 annual income.

Considering the original investment of $78,375, that income of $7,200 represents a rate of return of at least 9.4% ($78,375 divided by $7,200).

Additional factors that will benefit the Investor are:

  • Depreciation write-offs of $9,580 annually ($313,500 minus $50,000 for land, divided by 27.5 years)
  • All fixed expense write-offs
  • Local rentals are projected to rise
  • A conservative estimate of just 3% appreciation will increase the home's value by $9,000 - $10,000/year.
  • Inflation will add even more value to the home

Considering all of these benefits, our Investor should realize a total annual rate of return of 20%-25% annually, on his original investment.

If all of this sounds too good to be true, consider the following:

  • We currently have access to all-time-low mortgage interest rates
  • Because of the large number of foreclosures and short sales, there is now a high level of demand for high-quality rentals from the people who have had to move out of their "formally-owned" homes
  • Rental vacancy rates are near record lows, because of increased demand
  • There is a Buyer's market because of the high inventory of available homes
  • And, perhaps an even more persuasive factor: INFLATION IS COMING

Call me and let's discuss this opportunity !!!

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 



real estate AD EUPHEMISMS

Starter home - run down 

Needs TLC - Major structural damage.

Spacious - average size

Charming - small

Comfortable - very small

Cozy - very, very small 

Low maintenance - no lawn 

Easily maintained - Requires at least two gardeners and live-in maid.

Convenient - Located on freeway entrance ramp.

Walk to stores - nowhere to park your car

Close to lakes - Impossible to park from April to October.

Natural setting - forget about planting, the deer will eat everything

Secluded setting - far, far away 

Park-like setting - there's a tree down the block

Executive neighborhood - high taxes

Sophisticated City living - Next to a noisy bar.

Old World charm - Has some woodwork, needs cleaning.

Contemporary feeling - Has no woodwork, needs cleaning.

Security system - Neighbor has a dog.

Neutral decor - brown walls.

Unique city home - Used to be a warehouse.

Daring design - Still a warehouse.

Sophisticated - Black walls and no windows.

Prestigious - expensive

Bright and sunny - Venetian blinds not included 

Useful outbuildings - No inside toilet. 

Motivated Seller - Has been on the market for 14 years.

Much potential - Grim. 

One-of-a-kind - Ugly as sin.

MUST SEE TO BELIEVE - An absolutely accurate statement.

Enewsletter July 19, 2010

by Harry Salzman

July 19, 2019






All of us are interested in making good investments. The good news is that today's real estate market is offering investors the chance to make some terrific investments in residential investment property. Just look at the facts and examine why this opportunity now exists:

  • Lenders are reporting an excess of available money and a low demand for loans. As a result, in an attempt to encourage borrowing, lenders have lowered their mortgage rates to all-time lows.
  • Foreclosures and short sales are adding to the inventory of available homes for sale, thus driving selling prices down.

Bottom line:    Home prices and mortgage interest rates are both at record lows

  • The families which have lost their homes to foreclosures and short-sales are now in the market for high-quality rentals.

Bottom line:      Investors are currently renting their newly-acquired properties almost immediately. (We recently closed on two separate rental properties which were leased on the same day they closed.)

  • Out-of-control government spending will definitely create inflation, which will increase both the future value of the home you buy today, and the mortgage rate you will have to pay, if you don't buy now.  

Bottom line:      The great deal you can make on Investment Residential real estate today will probably turn out to be one of the best investments you ever made. Call us and let's talk about the possibilities. The timing will never be better.



HUD's 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) provides one of the most thorough views inside the homes of millions of Americans and reveals everything from the square footage of the unit to how many homes have front porches, garages or even usable fireplaces. First conducted in 1973, the survey's long-term design allows analysts to trace the characteristics of U.S. housing units and their occupants. For example, the 2009 survey reveals that significantly more American homes are larger and have more bedrooms and bathrooms than homes 37 years ago. In addition, homes of 1973 were significantly less likely to have central air conditioning and other amenities considered commonplace today.

Here are just some of the findings of a comprehensive national sample of the more than 130 million residential housing units released recently by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There are 130,112,000 residential housing units in the U.S.; 86% of these are occupied. The median age of 'the American home' is 36 years, though the survey finds that homes newly constructed since the 2007 AHS are generally larger, more expensive, have more bedrooms and bathrooms and are more likely to include amenities such as central air conditioning. Some of the other key findings of the 2009 AHS include: 68% of U.S. homes are owner-occupied; 51% are located in suburban areas; 29% in central cities; and 20% outside metropolitan areas; and 18% are located in the Northeast; 23% in the Midwest; 37% in the South; and 22% in the West.

Unit size
-The median size of an occupied home is 1,800 square feet (compared to 1,610 in 1985, the earliest year this information was collected), with owner-occupied units being larger than renter-occupied ones. Newer Homes are also usually larger, with a median size of 2,300 square feet.
-Median lot size for single-family homes, including mobile homes, is 0.27 acres (compared to 0.36 acres in 1973) with owner-occupied units generally having more land than renter-occupied ones.

-Most homes (53%) have six or more rooms, with owner-occupied units generally having more rooms than renter-occupied ones. In 1973, only 39% of homes had six or more rooms. Newly constructed homes generally have more rooms - 65% have six or more rooms.
-Most homes have three or more bedrooms (64% compared to just 48% in 1973). -New homes generally have more bedrooms - 80% of them have three or more bedrooms.
-More than half of U.S. homes (51%) have two or more bathrooms compared to just 19% in 1973. Again new units have more bathrooms, with 89% of them having two or more bathrooms.

-All units have a refrigerator and kitchen sink and almost all homes (99%) have a cooking stove or range. Overall, 98% of units have a full kitchen.
-The most commonly used cooking fuel is electricity (60%) followed by piped gas (35%).
-Two-thirds of the homes (66%) have a dishwasher, 51% have a disposal in the kitchen sink and 3% have a trash compactor. New units are more likely to have these amenities.
-More than eight in ten homes have a washing machine (84%) and clothes dryer (81%).
-About two-thirds of U.S. homes (65%) have central air-conditioning and another 21% have window units - new units are more likely to have central air-conditioning (89%). By contrast, only 17% of U.S. homes had central A/C in 1973 although 30% contained window units.
-About nine in 10 homes (93%) reported a smoke detector while 36% reported having a working carbon monoxide detector.

-Most homes have a telephone (98%), porch, deck, balcony or patio (85%) and a garage or carport (66%).
-About half (48%) have a separate dining room and three in ten units (30%) report two or more living rooms or recreation rooms.
-About one-third (35%) have a usable fireplace.
-New construction is more likely to have all these amenities.

To see the complete HUD report, click here.



Which real estate network dominates the Real Estate market???  

Salzman real estate Services, LTD is proud to be an affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the network that is 27% ahead of its closest competitor in sales volume, with nearly one million sales in 2009. Leading RE had 27% of the total home sales market among the top 500 U.S. real estate firms. To see more about Leading RE, click here

If you already knew this, you deserve a reward, so, I will buy you a cup of coffee the next time you stop by the office.



The latest figures show city sales tax revenues were up for the eighth month in a row. In their July 16th report, the city of Colorado Springs reported an increase of 7.16% in sales tax revenues, the second largest increase in 2 ½ years. They also reported that revenues for June 2010 were up 5.65% over June 2009.

The increase in sales tax revenues were attributed to an increase in consumer confidence and spending and the arrival of an additional 3500 troops from Afghanistan at Fort Carson.

The Sales tax revenues help fund our police department, fire department and parks, so the increase will benefit all of us.



Yesterday, the CBS Sunday Morning Show discussed the problem of obesity in America, and Colorado Springs was boosted in a segment entitled, "Welcome to Thin City".

Colorado was cited as the least obese state in the U.S. and Colorado Springs residents were said to be "the most fit", and more involved in outdoor activities. I do feel guilty, however, that, as I was watching this wonderful story about Colorado fitness, I was sitting on my couch.

To see more about this great PR coverage of our city, click here. If you don't already live here, after you see this story, you'll wish you did.



Most homeowners enjoy the every project that they have made in their home. They like to add, improve and make changes all over the house for them to live comfortable and pretty satisfied of what they are seeing around. But it isn't all about that because everything that we do in our home can add to its real estate property value.  And when the time comes that you'll be decided to sell your home you will gain get more money out of these projects that you've done.  According to BrokerAgentSocial, here are some of the projects that will help to raise your home value.

Basement Improvements - This is one of the most important remodeling works that you can do in your home. You can improve your basement by finishing, adding flooring, insulation, drywall and lighting. Furthermore, you can transform this into a usable place in a way of adding a living space. A living space will cost you less than adding a whole new room.

Gutters improvement and repairs
- If you want your home to be more appealing in its outside looks, gutters should be the first exterior features that you must consider to work on. Gutters repairs and maintenance will protect the rest of the home exterior from water damage. Maintain gutters regularly by patching holes, cleaning of debris that stop water from flowing and making sure that it is always in place and secure. 

A major lawn makeover - the lawn appearance effect the overall value of home that simply means irregular appearance of lawn detracts from the property overall appearance. Getting the lawn in shape is the first step in lawn total makeover. Test the soil to know if what chemicals will help the grass grows healthy and reseed bad areas.

Adding fence around - fence can give you privacy, security, protection and enhance the outside look of your home.  But before you start this outdoor home project of yours make sure to check the home owner's association rules if it's allowed. Some neighborhoods don't allow some fencing materials, and rules on how high should be the fence.

Update bathroom fixtures and hardware - Like any other parts of the house, little changes go a long way when it comes to bathroom updates. You can make the bathroom look stylish by just simply replacing the old hardware and fixture. If you are not contented enough of how the way it looks you can replace and upgrade your sink the trendy and modern one.

Replace outdated kitchen appliances with new ones - Many real estate professionals believe that this part of the house should be focused more when it comes to renovation and upgrades.  They believe that simple upgrade to this room will bring back a enormous investment in return. One way of improving your kitchen that could entirely change the overall looks is by upgrading the appliances.




Daily real estate News, quoting from a news release from, tells us that, despite declining home prices, 90 percent of Americans don't regret buying their current home.

Among the 9% who do regret the purchase, most say they are unhappy that they can't sell their home and move elsewhere, or, they can't afford their monthly mortgage payment.

Some 79% of those polled say they have a fixed-rate mortgage. Among those making over $75,000 per year, 90% say they have a fixed-rate mortgage. 


CoreLogic, in its monthly index, states that U.S. home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 2.9% compared to the same month last year.

May was the fourth straight month prices showed a year-over-year increase.

"Home price appreciation stabilized as home buyer tax credit sales peaked in late spring", says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "But, given that the labor market and income growth remain tepid, we expect prices to moderate and possibly decline the rest of the year".

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 



She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful
dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music, and
feasted on pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited
a few half-eaten shrimp shells, dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the
curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything; cleaning and mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere.

Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days, and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit... Repairmen refused to work in the house....The maid quit...

Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.

A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out, and eventually, even the local Realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man, and told him that she missed her old home terribly, and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back...

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea about the bad smell problem, he offered to sell the house to her for about 1/10th of what the house had been worth .. but only if she would sign the papers that very day. She agreed, and within the hour, his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

A week later, the man and his new girlfriend stood smirking as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home.......

including the curtain rods!!! 


Enewsletter, July 12, 2010

by Harry Salzman

July 12, 2010





On July 11, 2010, the Gazette reported the following items: 

  • The local unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3% (That's a drop of 21.7%)
  • Single-family home permits are up 25%
  • New car and truck registrations are up 38.3%
  • Taxable retail sales are up 10.2%
  • Hotel occupancy rate is up to 68.1%
  • Foreclosure filings are down 18.4%

The Gazette also listed some local employers who have announced job openings 

  • Everest University Online plans to hire 400 employees during the next 10-24 months
  • USAA to add 237 jobs this year
  • Affiliated Computer Services to hire 150 employees this year
  • PRC to hire 150 sales reps at their local call-center
  • Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group has 38 open positions
  • Intelligent Software Solutions to hire up to 30 software engineers
  • CareCore National will hire 20 people, in addition to the 51 already hired
  • Firstsource Solutions will hire 15 collection representatives
  • Braxton Technologies has added 25 people this year and will hire 12 more software engineers
  • Infinity Systems Engineering has some openings
  • Ace Hardware Retail Support Center has openings
  • Comcast has 20 openings at their local call-center

The bottom line is that 4,500 more area residents were employed in May than in January and 1,000 more job openings are scheduled for the coming months. All of these facts indicate that the Colorado Springs area is coming out of the recession and that companies are viewing our area as the place to move and expand.



Realtor Magazine cites a recent survey by which indicates that only 1% of their respondents said they were moving because of foreclosure. This compares to their February survey which found that 5% were moving because of foreclosure.

In February, the survey found 13% of respondents were moving because of job loss, but in June, only 4% moved for that reason.

In the June survey, 4% said they planned to purchase a first home when they moved, while 10% said they planned to move to a better home in a nicer neighborhood.

Some 18% of June movers were previous homeowners who moved and were purchasing a new home, up from 12% in February, while 12 % were former renters who planned to purchase a home in the new locale.

All of these numbers demonstrate that the country is recovering from the recession.



International home buyers are increasingly attracted to property in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors. International buyers are coming from 53 different countries around the world, with the top 4 being Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and China/Hong Kong. International buyers were reported in 39 states in 2010, but a slight majority of the total buyers were concentrated in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. These four states accounted for 53% of purchases and have remained the top destinations for the past three years, with Florida and California remaining the top two destinations.

The median price paid by international buyers for a home in the U.S. was $219,400, a decrease from 2009's median price of $247,100. However, the median price paid by foreign buyers was significantly higher than the overall median price, which was $172,500 in 2009. On average, foreign buyers tend to purchase closer to the upper end of the market; 16% of the total international purchases were for homes priced at more than $500,000.

55% of foreign buyers paid all cash, because of the difficulty in establishing credit in the U.S. Over 34% of potential foreign buyers were unable to complete transactions because of the problem of acquiring financing.

During the past 12 months, foreign buyers are estimated to have purchased $66 billion of U.S. residential property, or 7% of the residential market.

Realtors report that the changes in the value of the U.S. dollar and the perception that purchasing a home in the U.S. is more affordable are the two top reasons for the increased foreign interest. U.S. homes are also seen as holding their value better.



Local home sales in June were 913, an increase of 4.6% over June of 2009. This represents a consistent year-over-year increase for 13 straight months. The median price of $205,000 showed a gain of 5.4% over last June and rose above $200,000 for the first time in 2 years. How many other cities can show that kind of growth?

Unfortunately, these very healthy figures will probably produce a temporary decline in prices in the months ahead. Sellers, encouraged by the increases in sales and prices, are putting their homes back on the market and many other Homeowners, for a variety of reasons, must relocate during the summer months. Both of these groups will add to the available inventory and this will predictably trigger a short-term price decline. The result will be that Sellers will be required to be very aggressive with the pricing of their homes. This means more flexibility in their pricing and more incentives to Buyers.

That's just one more piece of good news for Buyers. Combine record-low interest rates, the growing inventory of homes for sale, the artificial reduction of prices caused by foreclosures and short-sales and Buyers will have the opportunity of a lifetime to buy their new home or their investment property. You can hear more about this topic on our podcast, which has a link at the top of this email.2 

Click here to see the most recent real estate sales and listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area.



Considering the present cost of money and the fact that inflation is definitely coming, many Homeowners are considering borrowing against the equity in their homes and investing the money in residential real estate. Obviously, each person's financial situation and goals are different, but, looming inflation, current interest rates and your own specific tax bracket could combine to present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase the value of your portfolio with free money.

Let's take one example of how present conditions could work together to benefit an individual. Assuming a new, fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage at 4.375% and a tax bracket of 28%, the Homebuyer's tax deduction of 28% off of the 4.375% interest payments would bring the actual interest expense down to 3.15% (4.375 X .28 = 1.225% savings). Therefore, when (Note: That's not "if") inflation hits 3.15%, the investor's interest expense would be cancelled out by the appreciation in the value of the property. From then on, it's "free" money.

By the way, inflation is currently running at less than 1%. When the impact of congressional spending increases begins to hit the economy, inflation is bound to skyrocket (Can you say, "Jimmy Carter"?)

Can this investment plan apply to you? Well, the first thing you should do is to ask your accountant or tax advisor how this process would affect your investment portfolio. If he/she agrees that you could profit from this opportunity, call us. We would be happy to go over the numbers with you in more detail and we can show you some great properties.

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 



On her recent visit to the United States, the Queen of England was riding in a taxicab in New York City. The cab was stopped in a traffic jam, so the driver, in an attempt to keep the Queen from being bored, said, "Your Highness, would you like to hear a riddle?"

The Queen answered, "That would be very pleasant, young man. Tell me the riddle"

Cabdriver:         "Here's the riddle, Ma'am.  'It's not my Sister. It's not my Brother. And yet, it's the child of my father and mother. Who is it??"

The Queen:       "My word, that's really a puzzler. I can't figure it out. It's not your brother or sister, but it's the child of your parents. Who is it, young man?"

Cabdriver:         "It's Me, Your Highness"

The Queen laughed out loud and slapped her knee. "That's really very clever, young man", she said. "I must remember to tell that one when I get back home"

The Queen returned to England and, that evening, was sitting in the Royal palace. She remembered the riddle and thought she would see if the Prince could figure it out.

The Queen:       "I say, Phillip. Those colonials are so clever. One of them told me this riddle and it's really quite amusing.

The Prince:        Fire away, Mum

The Queen:       "Here's the riddle, Poopsie.

 'It's not my Sister. It's not my Brother. And yet, it's the child of my father and mother. Who is it??"

The Prince thought for a while and finally said, "Well, that's really very confusing. I can't understand who it could be. Who is it?"

The Queen laughed and slapped her knee and replied, "It's a cabdriver in New York City"

Enewsletter July 7, 2010

by Harry Salzman

July 7, 2010




This famous quote from Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities might also apply to what's happening in our present real estate market. Are these the "worst" of times? For some people, they are. Our heart goes out to the people who have lost their homes through no fault of their own .unexpected loss of jobs, rising cost of living..huge jump in ARM payments, etc., etc., etc.. For those unfortunate victims of the recession, these truly look like the worst of times. They have now lost their homes, must relocate and take a step down on the economic ladder. We all hope and pray they can ride out this temporary economic downturn and return to normalcy in the near future.

Realistically speaking, however, these are the best of times for many people. The drop in market values of residential housing, while creating some serious problems for Sellers, has created great opportunities for Buyers. Let's take a look at some of the factors that make this "the best of times" for anyone who is thinking of buying a home:

  • Wholesale Mortgage Interest Rates are at their lowest level since 1971
  • The Wall Street Journal (July 7, 2010) showed Freddie Mac at 4.05% for a 30 day lock and 4.14% for a 60 day lock on 30 year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie Mae was at 4.117% and 4.188% for the same mortgages. 
  • Home prices are still extremely-low 
  • Foreclosures and short-sales are still coming into the inventory of available homes and are artificially lowering prices for all homes

Do these factors actually create a big difference to Buyers? Absolutely!!! Let's look at two examples from our own personal experience.

  • A family friend of ours in Phoenix was recently able to fulfill her life's dream by buying her first home. The home was built and sold five years ago for $350,000. Our friend just bought the foreclosed property from the bank for $90,000, thanks in part, to the federal tax credit of $8000 to first-time homebuyers. Her mortgage interest rate is less than 5% for a 30 year, fixed-rate loan and her PITI payments are significantly less than she had been paying for rent.  
  • An investor-client of ours just closed on a 5-year-old home that originally sold for $440,000. He bought the foreclosure from the bank for $310,000 and leased it for $1975 per month on the very day he closed on the sale.

How long will this "Buyers' Opportunity Market" last? Well, we don't have a crystal ball, but let's look at a couple of the factors that will determine how long this opportunity will continue. On the positive side, in the near-future, foreclosures will continue to affect the market, probably for the rest of 2010. This will tend to hold home-prices down.

Also, on the positive side, interest rates will stay low as long as there is no demand for mortgage money (Mortgage lenders are starving for loan-applications. Apparently, the typical Summertime Buyer bought earlier this year, to get the federal tax-credit, so, this year, there is no summer rush.) Lenders are currently offering rates as low as 3.75%-3.875% on 15 year loans, because nobody is borrowing.

The biggest pressure to push prices and rates higher will be inflation. Fred Crowley, chief economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, recently stated to us that, "Inflation must happen as a result of the dramatic increase in government spending". 

The bottom line for Homebuyers and Investors is, "BUY NOW !!!".

Call us. 


The deadline for closings on home purchases eligible for the federal Homebuyers tax credit has been extended from June 30, to September 30, 2010. This extension was offered because many of the eligible contracts had suffered delays caused, primarily, by the slow response times of lenders. This extension will be welcomed by many Homebuyers who were about to lose the tax credit through no fault of their own.

It is estimated that this extension will affect at least 200,000 homebuyers, but that 'official' estimate overlooks the other individuals and companies that would have been negatively affected, had the extension not been granted. e.g. the homesellers, mortgage loan processors, homebuilders, sub-contractors, title companies, etc., etc.,etc. The ripple effect of the tax-credit is hard to measure, but it is easy to see that the tax credit benefitted the entire economy.

Our thanks go out to NAR and NAHB for their heavy lobbying for this extension. It's too bad that the obvious benefits had to be 'sold' that hard. Obviously, congress does not fully appreciate how so many people are seriously impacted by their tax-related decisions.


The Research Division of the National Association of Realtors just released their "Local Market Report" for the major U.S. Markets. We thought our readers might be interested to see how our local market compares with the rest of the country, for the first quarter of 2010. As always, Colorado Springs compares favorably with most of the 150 largest metropolitan centers in the nation. The report tracks such data as local job market, foreclosure rates, housing inventory, prices, affordability, Please click here to see the complete report which proves, once again, that we live in the best place in the U.S.


On June 30, 2010, Portfolio,Inc. released its "Quality of Life" survey results for the Top Ten midsized metropolitan areas in the U.S. The survey compared 109 medium sized markets with populations between 250,000 and 750,000 in 20 statistical categories. The best cities have healthy economies, moderate cost of living, light traffic, impressive housing inventories, and high-powered educational systems. Colorado Springs ranked 7th on the survey. 


If you were counting on the federal government to help you pay for those new, energy-efficient windows, or those new, energy-efficient appliances, better think again. The Department of Energy has long-championed the PACE Program (Property Assessed Clean Energy Program). This program lets homeowners use special property-tax assessments to pay off, over 15 to 20 years, the cost of new improvements. The process results in PACE liens against the homeowner's property which are funded by municipal bonds. These liens are senior to existing mortgages.

In May, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said the PACE liens violated the terms of their contracts to purchase loans from lenders and said they would require borrowers to pay off the liens before refinancing or selling their properties. This announcement led most municipalities to suspend their PACE programs.

We urge any of our readers who might have become involved with the PACE Program to consult with their lender, to see how this inter-agency dispute might affect them.and Good Luck !!

As this feud between Fannie, Freddie and PACE heats up, one is tempted to ask whether the government's right hand knows what its left hand is doing. In the meantime, please close the windows. It's cold in here.

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 


All's fair..

One Sunday afternoon a couple sees an ad in the paper. They can't believe their eyes. There is a house in the paper for $1000 that is in the nicest part of town. We are talking about a Highland Park mansion for $1000. They think this has to be a misprint, but decide to call anyway.

They say to lady who answers we saw your ad, and realize it is a misprint correct. She tells them no it's not & you are actually the first ones to call.

They decide to go look at the house. They race over as fast as they can. They pull up to the most beautiful house on the block. In front of the house is a fountain that cost at least $30,000. They ring the door bell & the lady answers. She starts showing them the house. They realize this house is over 5000 sq ft and it is obvious that expense was not a problem in building this house. The house had marble imported from Italy & a chandelier imported from France. The landscaping was breath taking & the house had a great pool & a nice tennis court.

The couple said to the lady this is the most beautiful house we have ever seen, what's the catch? The lady assured the couple there was no catch. The couple wanted the house for $1,000 but was leery of doing the deal. Finally the lady said you seem like a nice couple, so I'll let you know the truth.

She told them this house is completely paid for, and not a penny is owed against it. Well, last week I got a call from my Husband. He informed me he is leaving me for his secretary. He then told me I could have everything we own as long as he could have the proceeds off the sale of the house. I agreed and he asked me if I could sell the house while he & his new girlfriend hung out in the Caribbean?


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Photo of Harry A Salzman Real Estate
Harry A Salzman
ERA Shields / Salzman Real Estate Services
5475 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs CO 80919
719-593-1000 or Toll Free: 800-677-MOVE(6683)
Cell: 719-231-1285
Fax: 719-548-9357

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